Aloha and Welcome!

Aloha, everyone and welcome!

I'm so excited to begin my very first blog on my updated website! This is the 'Ohana section because in Hawai'i (my island home, where I was born and raised), 'ohana means FAMILY.  As Miss Hawaii and Miss America, I was an advocate for Character Education.  As a teacher, I know that a person's character is of utmost importance in determining one's destiny.  I consider all of you as my own family. I have to give a shout out to my hubby, Tini Grey, for being THE MAN behind the new website creation and design! Thank you, honey, for always loving me and believing in me from the moment we met when we were just 15.  You are truly my best friend...ok, no more mushy stuff!

Tini and I have been married since 2002 and we have 4 beautiful children, 3 boys and 1 girl: Isaiah (9), Micah (7), Jonah (2), and Keilah (1).  We both have careers and try to juggle it all, but we are enjoying this life we share together.

Tini and I are the official spokespersons for the movement called, One Strong F.A.M.I.L.Y. The acronym stands for Forget About Me, I Love You. The essence of the movement is to inspire individuals all over the world to serve others. It's about selflessness and unconditional love, and helping our brothers and sisters in need.  We recently attended various events and donated our time and talents as a hosts/musician to help in the Filipino Relief Effort in the Philippines, after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the shores of Tacloban and surrounding provinces.  It was our privilege to do something small to help the Filipinos there.  After all, we are one family and families are always there for each other, especially in times of need. 

I come from a strong nuclear family.  My parents are Claudio and Rigolette Baraquio.  They were both teachers who immigrated from the Philippines in 1970, and together they raised ten of their children in Hawaii.  They taught me about what matters most in life and I am forever grateful to them for allowing me, their eighth-born, to strive for and achieve the American Dream.  Somehow, they managed to send us all to Catholic schools and eventually graduate from college.  Some of us have even earned Master's degrees.  That is a testament to their hard work and the sacrifices they made for us. Next year, 2015, will mark their 50th wedding anniversary. WOW. They are tremendous human beings and wonderful role models for me and my growing family. Love you, Ma and Pa!

In this blog, I will be writing about things that are the most important to me--the ROCKS and ANCHORS in my life.  I like to say that the foundation of my character is based on my FAITH, FAMILY, and EDUCATION.  So those will be the main topics of my blogs moving forward.  I know this will be a journey of self-discovery, and as I continue to move through each life stage, I'm sure I will learn much more along the way.  Thanks for following! :)


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